My mental rolodex has a few tried and true back-pocket recipes for occasions, and there are many in my life certainly, when I need to 'make' something from scratch but either lack time, creativity, patience or inspiration (or ingredients!). In fact, I reach into that back pocket so often that I'm sure many of my last-minute meals have a thin covering of lint! Most are for main courses as, in a pinch, we can always get away with fruit, ice cream or a cream concoction of the two for pud. Sometimes, however, one needs something baked and visibly homemade, yet something on-the-spur either for dessert or to serve with coffee or tea when the biscuit tin is empty and tea alone seems a bit mean.
Here is one for just such an occasion. It is quick, never fail and most of us have all the ingredients in the cupboard and fridge. This one can be dressed up if it's for dessert. It comes from my friend Lyn, the fantabulous cook, is great if you need something last minute and it's so easy you can be gardening, wallpapering or making curtains and still produce this mini masterpiece. Put simply: if you can make breakfast, you can make porridge cake.
(Photographs again courtesy of dear Stevie. Thanks so much!)
Cream together 4oz margarine and 3oz sugar (white or brown). Beat in an egg. Mix in 4oz self raising flour, 4oz porridge oats and 1 tsp cinnamon. I imagine ginger or nutmeg would be good too.
Spread half mixture on bottom of greased and floured, round, shallow sponge tin (8" diameter). Cover with a good layer of jam and here's where it gets fun as you can use whatever takes your fancy: red jam, yellow jam, marmalade even, or we like Tiptree's rhubarb and vanilla jam. Spread other half of batter mixture over jam and bake at 170ºC for about 25 minutes until browned on top and cooked through.
Serve with whipped cream, custard or ice cream. It's lovely warm but makes nice squares to go in a packed lunch the next day - that's if there is any left and with Kit around, there never is!